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Publisher's Summary

"All things are composed of patterns...." And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross.

In Alorin...300 years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor's brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D'Lacourte's mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he'll have to find him....

In the kingdom of Dannym...the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord.

In the Nadori desert...tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them.

©2010 Melissa McPhail (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,358
  • 4 Stars
    926
  • 3 Stars
    276
  • 2 Stars
    134
  • 1 Stars
    112

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    2,848
  • 4 Stars
    553
  • 3 Stars
    128
  • 2 Stars
    40
  • 1 Stars
    58

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,137
  • 4 Stars
    882
  • 3 Stars
    326
  • 2 Stars
    127
  • 1 Stars
    150
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Start to a new series

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, anyone that's a fan of the Stormlight series by Brandon Sanderson, or patrick Rothfuss' Name of the Wind series, this is what you want to read next

Who was your favorite character and why?

Trell. I just enjoyed his parts of the book the most out of the other characters. He wasn't as prevalent in this book but hopefully he has a larger part in the second one.

What does Nick Podehl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He reads each character so well and distinctly. If you liked his narration of the Name of the Wind than you'll like this.

Any additional comments?

This book is very big. There are a LOT of characters and for some, like Trell, you can go a long time before returning to a character's tale. Just beware of that and pay attention or you'll get a few story-lines mixed up.

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This is a great book!!!

If you don't like large fantasy novels expertly written, then this is not the book for you

The start is a bit hard to keep up with, because from page-one you hit the ground running, there is so much going on and it keeps its momentum through out the book.

I had seen an advertisement for this book saying "if you like Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan you will love this book."
I am always skeptical when people say things like that, but in this case it was true.
Robert Jordan is dead, Brandon Sanderson completed the wheel of time based off of his notes, (I am a big fan of Brandon Sanderson.) But Melissa McPhail is the closest I have come to experiencing a story that has the feel of The Wheel of Time.

For many years epic fantasy has been a boys club, ( there have been many woman fantasy writers but none of them had the depth or complexity for me to see them as one of the top fantasy writers)
I am glad to say this is no longer the case, (in the past for years alone I have gone through about 1000 books, and I have found great female Fiction writers, science fiction writers, but until now I had never found a great female Fantasy author.
This series deserves its place in the top 10 if not the top five great epic fantasy series out there.

105 of 119 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Good Performance, good language, ADHD writing

What did you like best about Cephrael's Hand? What did you like least?

Skilled voice actor, with characters that apparently have rich histories within a vast world with nice descriptive language.

What could Melissa McPhail have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

After listening to the book for 5 hours I was unable to immerse myself in the world and was left with the distinct impression that while Melissa McPhail has a rich imagination and has created diverse character, she could not decide on a story or series of events to follow.I feel too much was attempted in this one book, and it would have been more useful to either use other narrative techniques to convey events, or to split this story into separate concurrent narratives or sequential narratives following only a couple of primary characters each.More time should be spent with each character before jumping to another so as to better understand who each character is, and to become invested in the events surrounding each individually.

Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first, though I enjoyed his performance.

Was Cephrael's Hand worth the listening time?

No.I regularly read & listen to books ranging from 10 to 60+ hours each with various pacing and styles.I listened to this one for 5 hours and simply could not bring myself to continue nor care about the characters or the world, as the narrative was jumping to drastically different characters & places with little sense of coherence and without any sort or resolution or proper introduction, this is a shame as I really tried to immerse myself in this book.I went so far as to see if this was a continuation of another series in the same world that should be read/listened to first, with no luck.

Any additional comments?

Compelling VA performance let down by authors writing which shows great descriptive potential but fails in so many ways. I could not recommend this to anyone, unfortunately. I may try picking it up again but I see this as a prime example of a good author attempting to encompass too much too quickly within one book.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Ufuk
  • Germany
  • 08-17-17

Stop will all the fawning already!

I've never read an epic fantasy book where the focus if the story is how people keep adoring and falling for all the time. all. the. time.

also, when omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient immortal beings have your back and always rescue you, the stakes are really really low. So low, in fact, I wasn't gripped by tensions once in the entire book.

I've already read the rest of the books. don't expect any improvement.

If this is your first book of the series and you are looking for tension and not endless fawning and adoration, then stop here.

narrator was great as always.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A sub-par fantasy.

This is only for the hardcore epic fantasy enthusiast that is 20 series down and can't figure out what to read next. Cephrael's Hand might hit the spot, but the writing suffers heavily from telling and not showing. The story isn't bad, just overly familiar, with far too many ideas I can trace a straight line back to Wheel of Time.

The narrator does a great job with the material he is given.

Full disclosure: I got about 60% through and quit reading, so maybe the ending is worth it? Also, there are great many people that seem to love this book, so maybe it just wasn't my shot of whiskey. (It should have been - I'm nothing if not an epic fantasy enthusiast)

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Average overall — good plot, subpar characters

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No, this is a book to listen to while doing something else.

If you’ve listened to books by Melissa McPhail before, how does this one compare?

This is the first one.

What three words best describe Nick Podehl’s voice?

Not best performance.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No.

Any additional comments?

About half way through the novel and I suspect I won't be able to finish it. Here are some of the things that I enjoy about this story. The overall story is interesting and the mysteries behind the plot are compelling. The magic system is unique. This is a long book that gives the buyer a lot of value for the credit. There are a lot of unique species that gives this story a very fantastic aspect, in the most literal sense.

The worst aspect of the book is the unrealistic interactions between many of the characters. For example, every time the story follows Trell "of the tides" you know several things will happen: he will be complemented about being intelligent and wise by strangers (he does not demonstrate these qualities at any time), he will be called handsome by random strangers, and he will fantasize about having sex with attractive women whom he recently met. He also gets lauded for his military genius but you never hear about any of the details. Yes, we are told that he was instrumental in winning a major battle, but what he did and how it was better than what others could do... who knows. This makes many (most?) of his interactions unrealistic. Trell, a major character, is able to single handedly sink this novel, but there other examples that I won't include in this brief review.

I did not feel that Nick Podehl was the best narrator for this novel. I've listened to five or six different novels narrated by him and this was the worst. His desert voices are especially grating. I don't think the story is dark or epic enough to have a deep voice like Michael Kramer, maybe Tim Gerard Reynolds. The way Podehl does the voices enhances the ridiculous way that some of the characters interact.

All in all, not the best and not the worst. For me, believability of characters is more important than fantastic story. I think that if the writing style is improved the next novels will be a real treat to read, but as is this series is for those with extra credits and nothing interesting going on.

69 of 84 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Harlequin Lovers Delight - I could not get thru #2

What did you like best about Cephrael's Hand? What did you like least?

Interesting and overwhelming with almost too much depth- I was hoping to catch up with some great detail in book 2 but ended up with a lot of harlequin bs that made me drop this series like a rock. Almost too much detail, but I followed with the story through book 1 - and then jumped into 2 -- then it went too far for me to give a damn about the story. done, done, and done--

Would you ever listen to anything by Melissa McPhail again?

probably not

What does Nick Podehl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

best thing about the book

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

never

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I'm having a hard time following this book

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I'm an avid audible member and have listen to hundreds of books, but for some reason I can’t seem to follow this one. It seems like the book skips around from character to character so fast that it’s difficult to follow the story-line. I’m all for complex but this seemed convoluted to me. Soo sorry but I had to throw this one back and move on to a different book.

What was most disappointing about Melissa McPhail’s story?

I could not follow the character's - right when I started to understand and follow along the book switched gears to a different character and you had to start all over again to learn the location, the background and what direction the book is heading.

What does Nick Podehl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I love the way Nick can bring a character to life with all the voices he uses. I'm sure they had to make a list of characters and figure out who went where before they could even begin to develop the characters style or persona. He is wonderful!

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Cephrael's Hand?

Build the story background slower, I felt bombarded by it. Too much to absorb in such a short time with out any reference. Stop hopping between characters, give your reader time to familiarize themselves with the story and who the characters are. I get the idea the author is trying to create mystery, but the way it was presented just added to the confusion. I'm no writer and cant begin to know how difficult it is... Best of luck

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

could not get into the story

struggled to get past chapter 10. I understand the thrill of mystery and trying to figure out characters and there past and purpose but it felt like I was dropped in the middle of a series. I felt like there were books before this I had missed. To many characters thrown at the reader all at once. This book has gotten some good reviews though. As for me It did not hold my attention.

25 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Cephrael's ?

Cephrael's Hand is not a good audiobook. Trel, a main character, awoke 5 years ago without any memories. He finally sets out on a quest in an attempt to learn his roots. Several times in the novel individuals offer to answer his questions. Trel, however, declines. UNBELIEVABLE! The world building is never truly explained. Who are the main protagonist? What are their motivations? What powers or abilities do they posses? There seem to be several levels of demigods? What is the hierarchy?Why do some want to kill humanity? Just saying he/she is malevolent does not answer the question. There seem to be multiple levels of conflict. How do they intertwine?
After listening to the book, I am more confused than at the beginning. Nick Prodehl does a good job with limited material. Maybe the written novel has some maps, charts, list of the many characters etc that brings more sense to this mishmash. I give up!

56 of 72 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Patrick
  • 12-22-16

Massive!

At first was so much information and characters to take in and keep track of... But The narrative of Nick and the story are just Mind blowing. I dont know how many days I have been at work looking like a zombie all because i couldnt bring myself to pause :D

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mads
  • 08-23-16

Worth it

What did you like most about Cephrael's Hand?

It was a decent story with more or less alright writing. The narration was great.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Cephrael's Hand?

Most probably the ones with the pirate. That's all you're getting, no spoilers.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

There were quite a few, yet, some of the fight scenes were pretty neat.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Movie 1 of 10 in an epic saga of family, friendship and clumsy attempts at love.

Any additional comments?

Be warned... For all it's good points, the writing is lacking in a few key aspects. Among other faults is the authors habit of repeating words. There is a limit to how many times in one sentence I want to hear the phrase "tawny eyes". That limit is once. Once per sentence.
Other than that, it's good.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • MJP
  • 10-06-16

Mixed feelings

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Only after warning them that it had weaknesses, however it's not a bad story and is very well narrated.

Would you recommend Cephrael's Hand to your friends? Why or why not?

I was happy listening to it as I was doing so in the garden or doing jobs - if I'd sat to listen to it, I should have got very irritated by the writing style and given up.

Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, I don't think so but it was the performance that kept me listening.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, not really - found bits of the parts with the pirate amusing though.

Any additional comments?

This book really needed a severe editing. Lots of cliches and over-use of adjectives/adverbs, sometimes oddly - weird use of the word 'subtlety' and lots of repetition. An over fondness of elaborate description and names, both of which are pretty unoriginal holds up the narrative. The basic story is quite good but the writing is a bit ponderous. Hence I shan't follow up with the next volume as I don't care enough about the characters to persist with the heavy narration style.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • 10-21-16

Looking forward to more!

I've been looking for a new book series to listen to and this is has real potential. Fantastic start to this series and great narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • CeNedra Red
  • 03-19-17

Boring!!

Having read the rave reviews for this, and the other books in this series, and even waiting for the fourth book, before I started listening to it, I expected it to be spectacular. I was so disappointed. I know that sometimes a book can start slow, and build, but having listened to this whole book, I just don't see why it gets the credit it does. I was utterly bored, and couldn't even like any of the characters (in truth, I can't even remember any of the characters). The only highlight in this experience was Nick Podehl. But as wonderful as he is as a narrator, he can't do much with poor material.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • iainw
  • 11-12-18

decent screenplay for TV but a poor book

The problem with this book is that it has the very thinnest of overarching plots and is composed of a series of mini-adventures which do not add to or advance the plot in any meaningful way. It feels like it was written as the screenplay of a tv series and is very much the worse for it. I cannot fault the narration but the dialogue is often mangled by the flowery use of language which again adds nothing.

Serious readers of fantasy fiction will tire of this as realisation dawns.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 09-18-18

OMG I’m hooked

What can I say that everyone else has said. it’s so addictive. Thank you Melissa McPhail for such an amazing book

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • bdg
  • 08-08-18

Both fun and yet not!!!

I found listening to this book both rewarding and frustrating at the same time. On one hand, you have an interesting world with basically relatable (if a little overly zealous, pious and unrealistic) male characters, a nice interweaving of plot lines and a fun if a little formulaic narration style. On the other, you have lazy creativity, particularly around names, languages etc which use French and Arabic words amongst others rather than creating unique races and traits.

However, I could easily have glossed over these details and just given a positive all round review if it weren’t for the clumsy, adolescent handling of the female characters and anything resembling romance or lustful behaviours. It seems to me that the writer has very limited experience of both romantic encounters with women or strong female influences in his life. As such, the female characters are weak and formulaic - being either simpering idiots, obsessed with the approval and heroic masculinity of the male characters or bitter shrews with a lovely, sweet girl hidden deep...... And the painful, vomit-worthy descriptions of love and lust could come straight from the mind of a frustrated 15 year old who has yet to experience them first hand.

Finally, the narration whilst great for the male characters is read by a good reader with a nasal style of speech which makes the already whiny female characters sound unbearably whiny!

It’s a real shame, I’m a huge reader and listener of this style of fiction and the bones of what is here has a lot of potential, I just wish his writing wasn’t so stereotyped. That said, it’s fun enough that I’ll certainly continue listening to the series and will just keep the sick bag close at hand.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-16-18

Need a new world to visit?

Make no mistake, this is the book you are looking for.

An engaging, gripping story that is masterfully pieced together and then equally breathed life into giving it a greater dimension by the narrator.

I cannot rate this highly enough, and would consider this tale in the category of wheel of time, mist born and words of radiance. Very nice company to be in.

Thank you Mellisa for such a wonderful tale, it has given me hours of pleasure.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian Callinan
  • 05-05-17

Outstanding!

An epic masterpiece. There's a lot to take on but it's worth persevering. I finished it and immediately reread it to get a solid grip of the lore and history and cast of characters. Definitely worth it, can't wait to get stuck into book 2 now!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-10-18

Amazing!

Nick has done an amazing job bringing the cast of this epic tale to life. If you love the wheel of time or any of Brandon Sandersons work, give this a try!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-03-18

Ugh. So painful.

12 hours in and it all sounds like gibberish. Just a rambling mess. 1 credit wasted.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jenifer
  • 06-08-17

A good story and I will continue with the series.

Would you listen to Cephrael's Hand again? Why?

I never read a book twice! But I have enjoyed this so far.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Cousin Fin is a great bloke. A complete soak.

Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Have listened to a few narrations by Nick Podehl. He is one of my favourites.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The book is well written and has interesting life messages and observations.

Any additional comments?

There are many parallel events and stories which can be confusing at the beginning.Keep a notebook handy to list characters and relationships.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful